If the Boston Bruins want to acquire Vancouver Canucks and Scituate, MA native Conor Garland on the NHL trade market, it could cost them blue-chip prospect and Vancouver Giants (WHL) winger Fabian Lysell.
“I can tell you as a fact, the Canucks love Lysell,” a longtime NHL pro scout told Boston Hockey Now on Wednesday. “Obviously they can watch him often and they have. He’s opened a lot of eyes and the Canucks aren’t the only team interested.”
The Bruins were in on Garland and former Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson before they were dealt to the Canucks in exchange for the ninth overall pick at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel, a second-round pick in 2022, and a seventh-round pick in 2023 just prior to the draft.
Lysell, 19 was the Bruins’ first-round pick and the 21st overall pick at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. After coming closer than expected to making the Bruins roster out of training camp, the 5-foot-10, 172-pound winger has been tearing up the WHL in his rookie season with the Giants. Through 26 games, Lysell has 13 goals and 19 assists.
— Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) January 27, 2022
Garland, who will be 26 in March, has ten goals and 14 assists in 40 games. Upon arriving in Vancouver, Garland signed a five-year contract that carries a $4.9 million salary-cap hit. That’s why it was surprising that this past Saturday, on Hockey Night In Canada 32 Thoughts, and then again in his latest written and extended version of 32 Thoughts, Sportsnet Insider Elliotte Friedman reported that Garland could be back on the NHL trade market if the Canucks new Hockey Ops department decides to shift gears and try to sign center J.T. Miller instead of trading him.
“My sense is that part of Vancouver’s thought process includes the possibility of re-signing JT Miller, not trading him,” Friedman reported. “I’m not saying that’s the likely outcome, but, at the very least, they’ve investigated the idea and what it would take. That’s one reason other names — like Conor Garland – are out there. President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford wants to create room and will explore almost all options to do it. I do think at least one team’s made a run at Miller (my guess is the Rangers), but obviously not to the point where the Canucks said yes.”
As reported here a week ago, the Bruins are one of a multitude of teams that have at least made inquiries on what Miller would cost on the NHL trade market. One would have to imagine that Lysell would be part of the asking price for the 29-year-old Miller, who leads the Canucks in goals, with 15 lamplighters, and points with 44 points in 44 games played. Miller is in the fourth year of a five-year contract that carries a $5.2 million cap hit. The common belief is the asking price on the NHL Trade market for Miller is a 2022 first-round pick, a young former first-rounder on or ready for an NHL roster, and a top prospect.
As of Wednesday afternoon, most NHL odds had the Bruins – who currently hold the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference in the middle of the pack at best to win the Stanley Cup and 9-1 to win the East. If all of this NHL trade chatter is on target, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney thinks his team’s odds at playing for the 2022 Stanley Cup are much better and appears to be going for it.